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Perkiomen School Football Drops 8-Man Debut
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Casey Perlstein's reconstruction of Perkiomen School's football program began late last month amid some uncertainty. Perlstein said he had no idea how many

Perkiomen School defender Brandon Legris, left, tackles

Millbrook quaterback Kevin Justice as Logan Simmon 

closes in from behind on Saturday.

players wanted to play on the eight-man football. Thirty two showed up for an organizational meeting.

            Last weekend, 29 players took the field for the Panthers, who joined a new league. Their new head coach called it the largest turnout in 10 years. On Sept 29, exactly one month after the inital meeting, they hosted the first eight-man football game in Pennsylvania.

            Milbrook School overcame a early second-quarter deficit to post a 48-22 victory in the NorthEast 8-Man Football League.

            Tony Holden, a sophomore running back, scored two touchdowns. Tejpal Khela, a freshman quarterback, threw two touchdown passes for the Panthers (0-1).

            "I was proud of the way the team fought for four quarters," said Perlstein, a 2011 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School and a teacher at Perkiomen School. "Once the guys had some early success, I though they were able to enjoy themselves."

            With only seven seniors, the roster includes 75 percent new players, according to Perlstein. He said several of the new guys have never played tackle football before.

            On Sept 22, the team struggled in a tri-scrimmage against Milbrook School, located 90 miles north of New York city, and the Gunnery School, located in Washington, Connecticut, according to Perlstein.

            "We got beat up," he said.

            Seven days later, Perkiomen School built a 16-8 lead early in the second quarter. Holden's 6-yard TD run late in the first quarter opened the scoring. His 24-yard scoring reception less than three minutes into the second quarter from Khela snapped an 8-8 tie.

            However, the Mustangs reeled off three consecutive touchdowns to go ahead 28-16 late in the second quarter. Will Weiskopf opened the flurry with a 12-yard TD run. Quarterback Kevin Justice completed a 20-yard scoring pass to Ryan Davis, before adding a 1-yard TD run with 36 seconds left in the quarter.

            However, Tautvydas Kupstas scored on a 28-yard TD reception 24 seconds later to get the Panthers within 28-22 at halftime.

            Milbrook School dominated the second half. Its offense scored three touchdowns during an eight minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters. Its defense allowed just four first downs.

            Holden rushed for a team-high 65 yards on 18 carries for the Panthers. Khela completed 8-of-23 passes for 116 yards.

            Perkiomen School resumes its schedule Saturday, Oct. 6 with a road game againt Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut. Three additional road games against Pomfret School, The Gunnery and Holderness School follow. The team will conclude its schedule on Nov. 3 at home in a rematch against The Gunnery.

            The road trip travel times span from between more than three hours to 4 1/2 hours, according to Perlstein.

            In attempt to create a Southern Division for the league, Panthers Athletic Director Ken Baker said he is working to recruit similar schools in southeastern Pennsylvania who have dropped, or are close to dropping, their traditional 11-man programs. Baker mentioned Delaware Valley Christian, Renaissance Academy, Church Farm School and Calvary Christian as potentials fits to join the league.





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